Chef José Mendín – Pubbelly
Makes 20 dumplings
Ingredients for the Filling:
40 gyoza skins (Japanese dumpling wrappers available at Asian groceries)
2 duck legs, confit (either commercially prepared, or confit at home)
1 c scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
½ c chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp five-spice powder
salt and pepper to taste
For the Butternut Squash Purée:
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp butter
1 c heavy cream
1 pinch cinnamon
For Almond and Soy Brown Butter:
1 c whole, unpeeled natural almonds
½ lb unsalted, good quality butter (European style like Plugra is preferred)
2 tbsp good quality soy sauce (reduced sodium type works, but the flavor isn’t as rich)
1-2 oranges, peeled and segmented, seeds removed
micro herbs, such as chives and red ribbon sorrel
1 tbsp salt for the dumpling water
Preparation – Dumpling Filling:
Pull the meat from the confit duck legs and put in a bowl. Mash the meat with a fork to help shred it, then add the scallions, chives, salt, pepper and five-spice powder, mixing well to make the filling. Chill until needed (it will keep up to 8 hours).
To make the dumplings, line up wrappers and fill only to cover the center, wet around the edges and seal with another wrapper to create a circular type of ravioli. Cover with a tea towel and reserve until ready to cook. Refrigerate if you plan to wait more than an hour.
Make the Butternut Squash Purée:
Peel squash and cut into 2-inch squares, cover with cold water and boil for 10 minutes until fork tender. When cooked, drain the squash and place in blender or food processor with the warm cream, butter and cinnamon, and blend to a smooth consistency. Keep warm until ready to plate, or keep in the refrigerator, then warm slowly over low heat or in a double-boiler.
Cooking the Dumplings:
In the large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. When it comes to the boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt, then add the dumplings. The dumplings will cook quickly – 1½ – 2 minutes. When they are done, fish them out with a slotted spoon or drain in a colander (pour carefully so you don’t break the tender dumplings).
Make Brown Butter:
Melt the two sticks of butter in a large sauté or frying pan. As soon as the butter melts, add the almonds and toast them in the butter until they are golden, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Add the soy sauce to the butter and almonds – stand back as it will sizzle and spit as it starts to “burn” in the butter, creating a highly scented brown butter.
Turn the heat to low, and add the dumplings to the butter and almonds to warm through.
Prepare the plates and serve:
Cover the center of each plate with a generous dollop of the warm squash purée, and place dumplings on top of the purée on each plate. Using a spoon, drizzle the dumplings with the almond-soy butter, and garnish with orange segments and the herbs.